How to Use Google Drive to Maximize Productivity

Google Drive Featured

Google Drive is one of the most popular cloud-storage services out there. This cloud-storage service gives you 15GB of free storage with the option of buying additional space, as soon as you sign up for a Google account.

With Google Drive, you can gain access to your file on any device you have added your Google account to. You can enjoy offline access to your files as well.

How to Sign Up for Google Drive

There are two ways you can get your Google Drive account. You can go to Google Drive and sign up there, or you can sign up for a Gmail account that will create a Drive account for you automatically.

Drive Start

Once you sign up, Google will take you through a brief tour of the things you will be able to do with Drive. When you access your new Drive account, you will have one PDF file waiting for you that gives you tips on how to use Drive.

How to Upload Your First Google Drive File

To upload your first file, click on the drop-down menu to the right of My Drive. You can also click on the colorful plus sign at the top left that says New.

Drive Uploadfile

At the bottom right you can see that your file is in the process of uploading, and when it’s done, it will appear right next to the “Getting Started PDF.” If you need to upload an entire folder, choose the “Upload folder” option.

Click on the file you want to add, and Drive will show you a message asking if you are sure about the upload and how many items will be added. You can add all sorts of files to drive, such as video, images, audio, and documents.

How to Create, Share and Manage a Google Drive Folder

There are three ways you can create a folder on Drive. You can either right-click on an empty space to the side of a file, click on the My Drive drop-down menu, or click on the colorful New plus button. All three options will show you the “New Folder” option.

Drive Createfolder

Every folder you create will always be under the Folder section. To make a specific folder easy to find, you can assign it a particular color. You can do this by right-clicking on the folder and placing the cursor on the change color option. When the color palette appears, click on the color you want.

Drive Color

By right-clicking on a folder, you can also do things such as share your folder with others, create a shareable link to send, move the folder, add to starred, rename, search within the folder, download it to your computer, or erase the folder.

When you first send the file, you will see two options if Google detects that one or more of the collaborators don’t have a Google account.

You can either send an invitation or send them a link where they will be able to view or edit the file. If you ever want to make a file public in the “Who has access” section, click on the blue “Change” option.

Drive Public

In the next window you can either make the link public on the Web, accessible to anyone with the link (no sign-in required) or only give access to specific people.

Drive Link

Before you send out the invitation, you can give the person permission to either edit, add, and organize or only have them view the folder.

You can do this by clicking on the drop-down menu to the right of the pencil icon.

Drive Permissions

If you ever change your mind and want to either revoke permission or allow them to edit, you can make those changes even after you’ve sent out the invitations.

To modify the permission, click on the folder whose permissions you want to change. Place the cursor on the group icon and click on the sharing settings option.

Drive Settings

When the new window appears, click on the Advanced option. To the right of the user you will see a pencil icon with a drop-down menu and choose the new permission. This option will also allow you to make another user the new owner.

Drive Change Permissions

How to Make a Copy of a File

In Google Drive you can make a copy of a file, not a folder. To make a copy of a file, right-click on the file and choose the “Make a Copy” option.

Drive Copy

The copied file will be renamed with a prefix of “Copy of” so you can identify which file is the original and which is the copy.

How to Select and Download Multiple Google Drive Files

To select multiple files, press Command (for Mac) or Ctrl (for Windows) and choose the folders you want to download. When all the folders are highlighted, right-click and choose the “Download” option.

How to Use Google Drive Files Offline

To be able to access your Google Drive files offline, you need to be online (not in incognito mode), using Chrome, and install the Google Docs Offline extension. It’s also a good idea to see if you have enough space for the files you want to view offline.

To enable this option, click on the cog wheel at the top-right and go to Settings. In the General section, click the box that says “Create, open, and edit your recent Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides on this device while offline.” Click the blue Done button. You need to be online when you do this.

Drive Offline

If the changes have been saved correctly, you will see a grey checkmark you will need to click on. Toggle on the offline preview option, and all the documents that can’t be accessed offline will be greyed out. To access offline the files that are not greyed out, right-click on them and toggle on the “Available offline” option.

Drive Offlinee


Google Drive is beneficial when you have to save and manage various files with other users. You have a large variety of options when it comes to managing your files, and even if your Internet connection fails, you’ll still be able to access your files. How useful do you find Drive to be for you? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Fabio Buckell

Just a simple guy that can't enough of Technology in general and is always surrounded by at least one Android and iOS device. I'm a Pizza addict as well.

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